Sure, restaurants earn kudos and repeat visits from fans that show their appreciation with monetary rewards tacked onto the bill, but some devotees don't stop there when it comes to showing admiration for their favorite chefs and servers. When you're talking about eateries that draw a cult following, you're talking about customers who cater to the interests and hobbies of the people responsible for those delicious meals. Here are some examples of the gifts they've received from adoring fans.
- Bart Vandaele (Belga Cafe) is known for his interest in all things Belgian, especially beer. Customers track down unique/obscure Belgian brews, chocolates and cheeses during their travels and share them with him. He once received a white beer that he hadn’t seen since his childhood.
Michel Richard (Central) whose clever desserts are irresistible, was given a set of handcrafted Japanese wooden baking utensils.
- Old Angler’s Inn chef Nick Palermo, an avid sportsman, was invited to go hunting with a customer.
- A frequent Blue Duck Tavern diner brings chef de cuisine John Melfi cookies from her travels as well as treats that she bakes herself.
- Pankaj Kumar, a Bombay Club waiter, scored Super Bowl tickets from a patron.
- Regulars know that Rasika West End manager, Haque Zahirul, is a Giants fan, and often times customers offer him tickets.